Gov. Daugaard calls any pipeline legislation prematurePIERRE (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard says pushing legislation next year to ensure South Dakota is protected from harm by a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast would be premature, but at least one state lawmaker is likely to introduce a bill.
PIERRE (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard says pushing legislation next year to ensure South Dakota is protected from harm by a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast would be premature, but at least one state lawmaker is likely to introduce a bill.
Federal regulators are extending their review of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline by more than a year to consider other routes, and TransCanada this week said it will make changes in the route to avoid environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska.
Daugaard, who supports the pipeline, said he has regular talks with TransCanada officials aimed at ensuring the pipeline benefits South Dakota economically without harming the state's environment. He said given the recent developments, legislation during the 2012 session aimed at safeguarding the state would be premature.
"I want to make sure that South Dakota is as protected as any other state," he told the media. "Before we make any final decisions about what this means for South Dakota, we need to take time to collect all the facts."
State Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, unsuccessfully pushed legislation during the session earlier this year that would have required a $30 million cleanup bond from TransCanada in case of environmental damage. He said he likely will introduce it again.
"The company has said they will clean up any environmental damage. And I believe they probably would," he said. "By the same token, it only takes some sense to know that we should have some kind of surety, some kind of protection."
The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline would carry up to 700,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. The original route had the pipeline crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It also is considered a potential outlet for crude from North Dakota, the nation's No. 4 oil producer.